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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard

The Other Valley is literary fiction with a captivating setup: three adjacent valleys, each of which is a different timeline of the same world--and the complicated repercussions if interactions occur between them. Duty, love, redemption--I loved this.

In Scott Alexander Howard's The Other Valley, teenaged Odile lives in an isolated community that's bordered by two worlds: one in which her same community is living in the past and one in which it's living in the future.

Quiet Odile and her classmates are readying to apply for apprenticeships, and as she considers applying for the powerful Conseil, which makes decisions about who is allowed to anonymously travel between the worlds to observe loved ones from a distance, she accidentally sees and identifies visitors to her own world--and they're the parents of her young love.

The Other Valley builds from a captivating premise and kept me hooked--through despair, love, duty, and resignation--with quiet power until the slightly twisty ending, which I loved.

Howard's literary speculative fiction explores fate, free will, changing the past and implications for the future, and other fascinating issues.


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